Like an adolescent seeking attention, Beto O'Rourke, desperate for any hook to hoist his pitiful polling position, has resorted to puerile vulgarity. O'Rourke has glommed onto the issue of mass shootings as his last, best shot to salvage his drain-circling candidacy.
O'Rourke was a guest on CNN's State of the Union this morning. Guest host Dana Bash began by playing a clip in which O'Rourke, addressing a campaign gathering yesterday regarding the shootings in Texas, called the situation "f---ed up." CNN bleeped out the vulgarity. But when Bash invited O'Rourke to comment on the situation live in the studio, he again spoke of it being "f---ed up," and this time, CNN didn't bleep it.
Here's the clip. WARNING: contains un-bleeped vulgarity.
Dana Bash didn't bat an eye. Rather, she went on to quote from a USA Today editorial disdainfully describing Second Amendment supporters as "the not-from-my-cold-dead-hands crowd."
Does CNN lack a seven-second delay, or did the network make a conscious decision to air O'Rourke's coarse language? Surely the producers should have been on their toes, given that O'Rourke had used the same expression in the clip that was played just before Bash put the question to him live. But then, this is the same network that said "S--thole" 195 times in one day to own Trump.
O'Rourke's f-bomb might have been unscripted when he dropped it at the campaign event yesterday. But it was clearly done with malice aforethought today. So why did O'Rourke decide to repeat the vulgarity? View the video and see the positive, raucous reception it received yesterday. Looks like O'Rourke has decided that vulgar works with his kind of voter.
Kirsten Gillibrand was my personal un-favorite in the Dem primary crowd, but she at least had the sense to quit upon seeing the neon-bright writing on the wall. Beto seems determined to hang on, even at the cost of utterly debasing himself.
Here's the transcript.
State of the Union
9:03 am EDT
DANA BASH: Former Texas congressman, and 2020 presidential candidate Beto O'Rourke is focused on combatting these kind of attacks, after a deadly shooting in his hometown of El Paso last month, and he joins me now. Congressman, welcome. Let's start with the shooting. I want to play for our viewers your reaction at a campaign stop last night.
BETO O'ROURKE: I don’t know what the motivation is, do not yet know the firearms that were used or how they acquired them. But we do know this is [bleeped out but apparently saying 'f----ed up.'] [Crowd reacts with wild whooping and cheering.]
O'ROURKE [live in studio with Bash]: The rhetoric that we’ve used, the thoughts and prayers that you just referred to, it has done nothing to stop the epidemic of gun violence, to protect our kids, our families, our fellow Americans in public places, at a Walmart in El Paso where 22 were killed. In Sutherland Springs, in a church. One or two a day all over this country, 100 killed daily in the United States of America. We’re averaging about 300 mass shootings a year. No other country comes close. So yes, this is f---ed up [unbleeped.]
. . .
BASH: So one of the parts of your solution includes mandatory buybacks of so-called assault weapons. USA Today editorial board argued against that, they said you are playing into the NRA's hands, and here's what was part of that editorial: "The legislation would absolutely be doomed if it included a mandatory buyback provision. Anything smacking of confiscation would breathe life and energy into the not-from-my-cold-dead-hands crowd, endangering law enforcement and likely putting a full stop to any further gun safety measures."